What are Blogs For?

As usual, through a weird series of interruptions and oddities, I saw an older post of Kathryn Cramer’s regarding “What is a blog for?”

This is Kathryn – like, for sure.

Kathryncramer

So, I still don’t know “what a blog is for.”  Kathryn’s post gives 25 answers ca. 2006.  Today, those answers could well be “Stonehenge Blog 1.2” or something.

There’s a large snowy white egret outside having an “issue” of some type, being dramatically vocal.  Living by the Ballona wetlands, beautiful, large sea and estuary birds frequent my area all the time. In the city, there are millions of people who have no idea of the value of this natural area.  The Ballona wetlands are the last coastal estuary and wildlife preserve in Los Angeles County, and they are now only 25% of their original extent.  However, for the last 30 years, they have been protected and preserved.  I’m now in my second summer season and I see more wildlife this year than last, so these efforts are paying off.

Despite my youth experience working at the San Bernardino County Museum, I am anything but a bird expert (I don’t know, having not been inside the building for a long time, but those kid paintings I did of birds and eggs might very well still be in the giant egg exhibit).  I can recognize basic types of birds, but have no idea about fine points of identification.  However, I’m pretty sure the terror fish birds are double-crested cormorants, due to the yellow coloration on their beaks.  I was able to recognize “cormorant” due to the unique shape of their beaks and moderate size (big to anybody who just sees pigeons, crows and finches on a daily basis).  A little Anna’s hummingbird was coming around my patio fairly often, too, and I know from asking Gene the Bird Man about the tiny little eggs and freeze-dried bird bodies that Anna’s is more a Mexican than a California bird.  I’ve seen and heard a number of doves, and also owls – of the smaller seaside variety.

Common sense tells me that where there are many birds, seemingly thriving, there must be a lot of life in general. I truly did see the pair of ringtail cats moving sinuously across the road into the reedy marsh last year.  Ringtail cats are rare and very precious.

So, for me, after about two and a half years, my blog is where I do near-daily “easy” writing.  I combine it with my personal interests, and use it to keep my chops where they should be – at the top of the game.  As we are writers in various “communities,” such as the SF/F community, with which I have such a strange love-hate relationship, we all take various approaches.  My blog is exactly who I am.  I see no point, and have no desire, to pretend to be anything other than I am.  I connect to nature so that I can connect others to it via my blog posts.  As to my fiction projects, I suppose I’m moving back toward a type of discipline.  With the ups and downs of my fiction writing, this too is a strange feeling.  However, being able to have this daily dialog via the blog has definitely kept me connected.  And, oh now, to the Sublime.  Those at BVC are very excited about the hot possibilities of the steampunk anthology that we recently announced.  To me – this means that I must write something about one of my other long-time interests and areas of study:  the Romantic era.  The world seems to have gotten out of the Ada Lovelace era steampunk keyboards and etched Altoid tins.  That is not, of course, at all what I see.

What we have today, is a very strange way to connect to each other.  I think it encourages broader and shallower connections, whereas in Ada Lovelace’s day, one came to know the people that one knew, far better.  Even such secretive INFJ’s such as myself would well be revealed to their intimates, eventually, in the 1840’s.  But the things we have today – are the things we have today.  And that’s what blogs are for.

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